Daily Archives: May 11, 2007

How far will ethanol boom take us?

How far will ethanol boom take us?

By Elton Robinson
Delta Farm Press

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USDA’s chief economist sees a continuation of the ethanol boom over the next few years, with more ethanol production plants coming on line and bigger corn crops needed to feed them. Long term, ethanol’s future will depend largely on policy decisions on tax credits and perhaps the growth of cellulosic ethanol.

Keith Collins speaking at the Farm Foundation’s Biofuel, Food and Feed Tradeoffs conference in St. Louis, says one thing is sure for the next few years — there’s money to be made in biofuel

“The value of U.S. crude oil imports is $220 billion a year and the total value of U.S. crop production is $134 billion. That ought to tell you that if you can get a slice of those crude oil imports, you can have a real jolt for crop production in the United States.”


Understanding Vaccines — Vaccination Considerations

Understanding Vaccines — Vaccination Considerations

By Lee Bob Harper, DVM, Pfizer Animal Health

Are you following protocols to maximize your calf vaccination results? Here’s a checklist of strategies to consider. Getting calves on feed and acclimated at the feedlot is everyone’s goal to increase performance and decrease morbidity. Vaccination plays an important role in that process. Here are some strategies that can help aid in vaccination program effectiveness.



New, Softer Version Of R-CALF Is Up & Running

New, Softer Version Of R-CALF Is Up & Running

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

Most people with a passion for the industry see three industry organizations as even more disruptive than what two proved to be. However, the newest organization — the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) — already appears to have assumed status as the legitimate opposition group to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

Initially, according to votes and board membership, one would have said that Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) was splitting right down the middle. But as things have progressed, that appears not to be the case. The majority of R-CALF’s committee leadership, and certainly the leaders with the closest ties to actual cattlemen, appear to be joining the new USCA.



Implants in suckling heifer calves intended for cow herd replacements

Implants in suckling heifer calves intended for cow herd replacements

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

      Growth implants have not been widely used in heifer calves because of concern by herd managers about detrimental effects on subsequent reproductive performance of heifers kept as herd replacements. Currently three implants Synovex-C®, Component E-C® (estradiol and progesterone), and Ralgro® (zeranol) have been given FDA approval for use on potential replacement heifer calves. Past reviews of this subject have been quite thorough and generally concluded that one implant given at or after the heifer is 2 months of age has very little impact on future reproductive performance (Hargrove, 1994 and Deutscher, 1994). Also these reviews have both concluded that implanted heifers have significantly greater pelvic area when measured at about one year of age, but these differences are indeed very small at the time the heifer is delivering her first calf at or about two years of age. Consequently, the data on dystocia rate indicates that implanted heifers have no less calving difficulty than do non-implanted counterparts. 


New CIDR Based Synchronization System Gives Another Fixed Time AI Option

New CIDR Based Synchronization System Gives Another Fixed Time AI Option

Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech and

Dr. Dee Whittier, DVM, Extension Veterinarian, VA Tech.

Last year we reported on a Fixed Time AI system (CO-Synch+CIDR) that has become widely recommended in the industry for AI breeding of postpartum cows on a single day. http://www.ext.vt.edu/news/periodicals/livestock/aps-06_10/aps-367.html ).  Our work in Virginia indicates this program results in pregnancy rates of 55 % to 65% to fixed-time AI (FTAI).  In field studies in Missouri, the CO-Synch+CIDR system averaged 65% pregnancy rate in over 3000 cows in 35 herds.  The range in their studies was 57% to 72% AI pregnancy rate.  It should be noted that all herds were well managed with cows in good body condition.


Beef Returns to the Boston Marathon

Beef Returns to the Boston Marathon

Cattle Today

A volunteer beef brigade learned that many consumers will find and enjoy beef, even in the middle of a wild Nor’easter storm. The Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), a project of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and several northeast state beef councils, braved what Boston media called “Monsoon Monday” to serve 4,000 barbecue beef samples and promote lean beef during the nation’s most famous foot race, April 16.

The severe weather kept all but 200,000 of the race’s heartiest fans on the sidelines. But that proved to be a blessing in disguise for reaching consumers with samples and information about healthy beef, said Kelly Dietrich, director of public relations for the beef checkoff initiative. Representatives of the Beef Checkoff Program’s National Beef Ambassadors assisted at the beef booth.


Ag leaders weigh in on Minnesota’s beef industry

Ag leaders weigh in on Minnesota’s beef industry

By Dick Hagen

The Land

For a broader perspective on the health of the Minnesota beef industry, The Land talked with Ron Eustice, executive director of the Minnesota Beef Council; Joe Martin, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; and Dale Lueck, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association.

Q: Is the Minnesota beef industry healthy?


Black flies, like mosquitoes, carry disease

Black flies, like mosquitoes, carry disease

By Jared S. Hopkins

Times-News (ID)

TWIN FALLS – Well before the West Nile Virus came to Idaho and spread itself through mosquitoes, a different pesky insect was already here with a different disease as an established annoyance for Magic Valley farmers.


Black flies, with 40 species in Idaho, have been reported since the 1930s as a problem in Twin Falls County for owners of sheep, cattle and horses, but it’s that absence of human element that has kept it generally unknown outside–the agriculture community.


The effect of the fly has reemerged as the evil partner to mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, as the county decides whether to create an emergency vector abatement district. The commissioners will discuss the move Monday, several days after hearing almost 30 county residents at a public hearing supporting it.


Calving a time of hard work — and rewards

Calving a time of hard work — and rewards


Great Falls Tribune

Calving season is the most demanding season most ranchers face.

The adorable calves with large, dark eyes and long eyelashes don’t just show up cavorting beside their mothers.

“We check our cows every one to two hours,” said Shirley Menghini. The Menghinis raise Angus and Wagyu cattle, known for their Kobe beef, on their ranch near Belt.

During calving season they hold their bred cows in a 50-acre field near their home. There Menghini is able to watch the cattle from her kitchen window.


BSE experiment bodes well for U.S. beef

BSE experiment bodes well for U.S. beef

Latest finding could lead to positive steps in U.S. beef trade with Japan.


Japanese experiments on mice show that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from cattle aged up to 23 months is not contagious. This finding could change attitudes on food safety and influence Japanese conditions on U.S. beef imports, according to Phil Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).


Beef producer: Minnesota needs healthy livestock industry

Beef producer: Minnesota needs healthy livestock industry

By Dick Hagen

The Land Staff Writer

Stan Claussen, a third-generation Chippewa County beef producer near Montevideo, believes rural Minnesota needs more livestock.

Even with a booming ethanol industry, over half of Minnesota’s corn production is still shipped out of the state. Also, dried distillers grains, an ethanol co-product, is an excellent feed in cattle rations. Because of these new dynamics, Claussen foresees some shifting of cattle from the Southwestern states back into the Upper Midwest.

“You just can’t discount the fact that the ethanol industry is creating change,” he said. “Whether it’s DDGs or wet mash, we have so many ethanol plants now that most any feeder in Minnesota is conveniently close for accessing this byproduct feed.”


Watch for grass tetany this spring

Watch for grass tetany this spring

Tri State Neighbor

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Lush, rapidly growing grasses present a considerable risk for grass tetany this spring, specialists at South Dakota State University said.

SDSU Extension forage crops specialist Peter Jeranyama said some cattle producers in central South Dakota already have been experiencing cases of grass tetany in their livestock.

SDSU Extension range livestock production specialist Eric Mousel said the combination of high potassium and low magnesium and calcium in lush, rapidly growing forages is thought to be the primary cause of grass tetany. Because of the increased forage production and growth rate, cattle grazing nitrogen-fertilized pastures are generally at higher risk.


Raising cattle the old-fashioned way

Raising cattle the old-fashioned way

Wyoming couple shun hormones, feed beef on grass

By Tom Mast, Casper Star-Tribune

The grass-fed and -finished cattle of the Twin Creek Ranch near Lander have just one really bad day.

That’s when they become T-bone steaks.

But after the calves are born until that time, they can expect to live pretty much as elk and bison live, maturing without ingesting pesticides and herbicides on the plants they eat, and without synthetic hormones and antibiotics pumping through their systems.

“I tell customers the only additives we have are fresh air, Rocky Mountain water and scenery,” Tony Malmberg says. He and his wife Andrea run the ranch.


May Beef Management Tips

May Beef Management Tips

May Beef Management Calendar

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech..

Spring Calving Herds

    * Calving should be coming to an end

    * Give pre-breeding vaccinations to cows – IBR, PI3, BVD, BRSV and Lepto

Use modified live vaccines on cows with calves; killed vaccines on pregnant cows

    * Begin estrous synchronization programs for AI (begin AI this month some herds)

    * Breed heifers 2 to 4 weeks before cows

    * Breeding soundness exams need to be performed on all bulls

    * Supplement 1st calf heifers with energy through breeding

    * Implant calves at turnout if not implanted at birth

    * Keep high quality, high magnesium, high selenium minerals available

    * Make 1st cutting of hay

    * Start creep grazing and/or managed intensive grazing

Fall Calving Herds

    * Creep graze calves while on cows

    * Give vaccinations for Virginia Quality Assured program (VQA)

    * Wean calves based on marketing plan for calves – must be weaned at least 30 days for VQA weaned program

    * Implant calves at turnout

    * Deworm calves if needed

    * Make 1st cutting of hay

    * Continue feeding high magnesium minerals to prevent grass tetany

Continue managed intensive grazing; hay pastures with excess forage

Orderly Conduct — Murray Greys an ‘easy going’ alternative

Orderly Conduct — Murray Greys an ‘easy going’ alternative

By Richard Siemers

The Land

When Tom Helfter got his first look at Murray Grey cattle at the 1982 National Western Stock Show in Denver, they were relative newcomers to the United States. Helfter, who farms near LeCenter, has always had cattle around, but these caught his eye.

“I was just kind of impressed with them. They looked very similar to Angus, but not quite as spooky,” Helfter said, adding, “no offense against Angus, but they’re not as quiet and calm as some of the other breeds.”

The Murray Grey’s temperament was evident as he approached his herd in the back pasture.


PCA President Makes Journey From Cul-de-Sac to Farm

PCA President Makes Journey From Cul-de-Sac to Farm


Lancaster Farming

JERMYN, Pa. — Twenty-five years ago, if you were to have asked Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s President Jeff Nogan and his wife Ann if they expected to be where they are today, they would have told you it’s impossible.

Both Nogans grew up in developments in the town of Chinchilla between Scranton and Clarks Summit. Neither had agriculture in their background and the idea of farming did not even strike them as a career possibility.

Now after purchasing a farm in Jermyn and establishing their cow-calf and feeder operation, there is nowhere else this Lackawanna County farm couple would rather be. Jeff’s journey to leading the state’s cattle producer organization is a road not normally traveled, he will agree.